Both among the ACC's biggest disappointments of 2012, the Boston College Eagles and North Carolina State Wolfpack will look to finish off their regular seasons with a victory on Saturday in Raleigh.
The Eagles come into Saturday's contest at 2-9 and just one of those wins came against an FBS opponent.
N.C. State (6-5), meanwhile, can thank a shocking upset over Florida State this season for helping clinch its bowl eligibility. So even though the season hasn't gone as planned, the Wolfpack at least has some bowl game to look forward to in December.
This game certainly won't be a contest with the intrigue of USC vs. Notre Dame, but considering the college football season is about to end, we may want to cherish every game while it's still here.
With that in mind, here is a complete breakdown of everything you need to know about Saturday's contest.
When: Saturday, Nov. 24 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC
Betting Line: North Carolina State (-14), via Vegas Insider
Boston College Injuries (via USA Today)
DL Kieran Borcich, Leg, Questionable
RB Andre Williams, Abdominal, Questionable
G Ian White, Ankle, Questionable
LB Nick Lifka, Foot, Questionable
DT Jaryd Rudolph, Leg, Questionable
DT Kaleb Ramsey, Leg, Questionable
WR Bobby Swigert, Knee, Out for Season
RB Tahi Kimble, Leg, Out for Season
DB Al Louis-Jean Jr., Foot, Out
G Harris Williams, Foot, Out
North Carolina State Injuries (via USA Today)
G Duran Christophe, Concussion, Questionable
CB Jarvis Byrd, Thigh, Questionable
HB James Washington, Knee, Out for Season
DE Forrest West, Ankle, Out for Season
G Zach Allen, Leg, Out for Season
DT Jacob Kahut, Knee, Out for Season
LB Michael Peek, Knee, Out for Season
Which team will win on Saturday?
Already bowl-eligible, the result of this contest will essentially determine the Wolfpack's destination in December.
A win and they will likely head somewhere like the Russell Athletic Bowl to play against the second-place finisher from the Big East. On the other hand, a loss sends N.C. State into flux, where its ultimate destination will be determined by the result of other ACC members' games on Saturday.
As for Boston College, playing in a bowl game has been a pipe dream for the past few weeks. A win would simply give the Eagles solace that they took away a bigger bowl payout from their opponent.
What They're Saying
Oft-criticized Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani has been taking some extra heat this week following last week's loss to Virginia Tech. With about a minute to go and the game tied at 23-23, Spaziani decided to play for overtime rather than go for the win.
Considering the team's 2-8 record coming into that contest, fans were understandably a little peeved with the conservative call. Nonetheless, the embattled coach said he would do the same thing over again, according to the Boston Globe's Julian Benbow:
Spaziani said, if anything, he might have gone with a screen instead of a draw play, near the end of the game, but otherwise he was OK with the decision to go to extra time.
“I would do the same thing,” he said. “That’s why we try to take the feelings out of it. We try to do a professional job with it. That’s what coaches do.”
On the other side of the field, the Wolfpack faithful aren't exactly happy with the job Tom O'Brien has done in 2012, either.
Still, a victory on Saturday would mean a great deal for N.C. State's bowl bid, a fact that O'Brien acknowledged when he met with the media on Monday.
Here is what the coach said, via Scout.com's Derek Medlin:
The only thing we can control is beating Boston College. If we do that and win seven games, I know this, Duke and Georgia Tech both have to win to get to seven. We could be the only seven-win team still in contention. Three of us are playing to get to that seven-win level, and that's what we're playing for.
Boston College Player to Watch: QB Chase Rettig
While 2012 certainly hasn't gone the way anyone associated with the Eagles wanted, they still can take solace in the improvement of their passing game.
Quarterback Chase Rettig, though inconsistent, has been a major catalyst in that improvement. The junior signal-caller has thrown for 2,932 yards and 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions and has three 300-plus-yard games this season.
With the run game essentially at a standstill, Boston College's results have been contingent on the play of Rettig.
Luckily for the Rettig, a matchup against the worst pass defense in the ACC awaits. Coming into Week 13, N.C. State has given up 274.4 yards per game and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 60.4 percent of their passes.
If Rettig is able to bounce back from his poor performance last week against Virginia Tech and torch the Wolfpack's secondary, Boston College may be able to pull off a shocking upset.
North Carolina State Player to Watch: QB Mike Glennon
Despite getting the loss, Mike Glennon was nothing short of fantastic last week against Clemson.
The senior quarterback went 29-of-53 passing for 493 yards and five touchdowns against one interception, though he was overshadowed by an equally spectacular performance from Tajh Boyd.
For Glennon, that spectacular performance has become the norm this season. Playing with lesser talent around him than in 2011, he's still managed to put up a career high in yards (3,403) and needs just five more touchdowns to eclipse his 31 from last season.
Although the Eagles' true defensive deficiency comes against the run, Glennon should still have no problem putting up strong numbers. Boston College comes into Saturday struggling in underneath coverage, allowing the highest completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks in the ACC (62.1).
Glennon simply needs to pump the brakes on his aggressive tendencies and take the underneath throws the Eagles give him. Doing that should lead to another great game and a victory for the Wolfpack.
Key Matchup: WR Alex Amidon vs. North Carolina State's Secondary
It seems like, all season, the Eagles' effectiveness in the passing game has come down to Alex Amidon's ability to get open.
The junior receiver leads the conference in receptions (75) and receiving yards (1,175) and averages a strong 15.7 yards per reception despite not being much of a deep threat.
If the Wolfpack want to make Saturday easy on themselves, they need to focus their game plan on stopping Amidon first and foremost. Rettig has looked dreadful in games where Amidon hasn't performed up to par, as the rest of the receiving corps is middling at best.
N.C. State is certainly the favorite on Saturday, but if Amidon breaks out, it will be interesting to see if this is the blowout the oddsmakers expect.
The Wolfpack secondary hasn't shown anything that makes me believe they will be able to stop Amidon, so this game will be closer than expected.
Nevertheless, Glennon is firing on all cylinders at the moment and Boston College's inability to finish drives has hurt it all season.
N.C. State won't cover, but the team will come away with its seventh victory on Saturday.
North Carolina State 31, Boston College 23